Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Questions (163)

Michael McGrath


163. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the nature of diplomatic ties between Ireland and Vietnam; his plans to further develop the links; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27610/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Ireland established diplomatic relations with Vietnam in 1996 and opened an Embassy in Hanoi in 2005. Vietnam is accredited to Ireland on a non-resident basis through its Embassy in London. Vietnam has been an Irish Aid key partner country since 2005 and the bilateral relationship has been underpinned and strengthened by this development cooperation programme which focuses on ethnic minority empowerment and development, civil society support and on institutional exchange and capacity building.

Bilateral relations between Ireland and Vietnam are positive and President Michael D. Higgins paid a State Visit to Vietnam in November 2016. Most recently, Minister of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Patrick O'Donovan TD, visited Vietnam in March of this year while Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon TD, visited Hanoi in November 2018.

A strategy for Ireland’s continued engagement in Vietnam and the Mekong sub-region (2017-2020) was approved in 2017. The strategy has three high-level objectives: i) Ireland’s People in the region are well served, better protected and more closely linked; ii) Ireland’s Prosperity is enhanced through trade, investment, EU and people-to-people engagement and institutional exchange; and, iii) Ireland’s Values and Influence contribute to a more stable and secure rules-based international environment, the protection of human rights, reduced inequalities and the empowerment of people to participate in their own development.

The Department works closely with State Agencies and other relevant Government Departments to advance trade and investment relations with Vietnam which is an emerging priority market for Ireland in a number of sectors including agri-food, medical technology, education, aviation, renewable energy, and ICT services.